This sweet pongal recipe, also called sakkarai pongal, is a delicious sweet rice and dal dish that is flavored with ghee, jaggery syrup, and cardamom powder. It is one of my favorite dishes, and it is a popular dessert during special occasions such as the Pongal festival. When my Baba or Paatti would make this dish, the whole house would smell like jaggery, ghee, and cardamom. What a beautiful and nostalgic smell!
What is Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal?
Sakkarai pongal is a very popular dish in Tamil Nadu. Any special occasion or festival calls for a bowl of sweet pongal after a delicious, hearty meal. It has lots of ghee and sugar, but unlike other desserts, it uses whole food ingredients packed with nutrition. Sweet Pongal is a dessert that will enchant even the pickiest of eaters with its sweet, buttery texture and flavor. The golden brown color of roasted cashew nuts laid over cooked rice and yellow moong dal presents a beautiful palette as jaggery melts into the mixture, carrying infusions of cardamom and clove.
Sakkarai Pongal is a mandatory part of special occasions and festive days in South India. It is particularly important during the Pongal festival, which is a harvest festival to celebrate and honor the sun god. It is also common in South Indian temples and homes during auspicious days. Enjoy the dish with a generous amount of ghee, and you can store in an airtight container for a few days.
There are many variations of Sakkarai Pongal, including the savory version known as Ven Pongal, and the sweet version known as Chakkara Pongali. The main ingredients for Sakkarai Pongal are raw rice, yellow moong dal, whole milk, and jaggery syrup. However, you can adapt the recipe to include different types of rice, such as masoori rice or foxtail millet, and different sweeteners, such as white sugar, brown sugar, or powdered jaggery. You can also make this recipe in an instant pot or on the stove top using a pressure cooker or a heavy-bottomed pan.
Before I share this amazing Sakkarai pongal recipe, let us have a look at the ingredients to see what we need.
It serves as the base of the pongal and adds a light, starchy flavor and texture.
It adds protein and a slightly nutty flavor to the pongal.
It adds richness and a creamy flavor to the pongal.
Water helps to cook the rice and lentils and adjust the consistency of the pongal.
It adds flavor and richness to the pongal.
Jaggery adds a deep, molasses-like sweetness to the pongal.
Cashews add crunch and a nutty flavor to the pongal.
They add sweetness and a chewy texture to the pongal.
It adds a warm, aromatic flavor to the pongal.
It enhances the overall flavor of the pongal (optional)
Cardamom adds a sweet, floral flavor to the pongal.
Cooking Directions for Sakkarai Pongal Recipe
So now that we are feeling festive, and we have everything that we need to create this buttery, sweet dish, let us move on towards the recipe with step by step pictures.
So, let’s get cookin’!
First, you need to wash the rice and lentils and soak them for a while.
Now add the rice and moong dal in the pressure cooker with 1 tsp ghee, milk and water and pressure cook it for up to 5 whistles.
Then release the steam, the dal and rice mixture should be mushy and cooked completely.
In a pan, take ¾ cup jaggery and ¼ cup water over low heat. Alternatively, you can use equal parts dark brown sugar in place of jaggery
Keep stirring the mixture till the jaggery melts completely.
Now filter the jaggery water.
Add the jaggery mixture to the cooked rice-dal mixture.
At this point, add 1/4 cup of water or more if desired to achieve the desired consistency.
Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes, or till the jaggery combines well with the rice-dal mixture.
Now add in 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) and ¼ tsp cardamom powder and give it a good mix till the sakkarai pongal turns glossy.
In a small pan heat 3 tsp ghee and fry cashews, raisins, and 1 clove.
Fry the cashews and raisins until they get a nice golden brown color.
Pour the fried cashews and raisins into the sweet Pongal, and mix it all well.
Your healthy and nutritious Sweet Pongal / sakkarai Pongal is ready to enjoy.
Sakkarai Pongal is a traditional sweet dish from Tamil Nadu, India that is typically made with raw rice, yellow moong dal, whole milk, and jaggery syrup. It is flavored with cardamom powder and other aromatic spices, and is often served during special occasions and festive days, particularly during the Pongal festival, which is a harvest festival that is celebrated to honor the sun god.
The main ingredients in Sakkarai Pongal are raw rice, yellow moong dal, whole milk, and jaggery syrup.
Yes, Sakkarai Pongal is a traditional dish from Tamil Nadu, India and is often served during special occasions and festive days, particularly during the Pongal festival, which is a harvest festival that is celebrated to honor the sun god.
Yes, the recipe for Sakkarai Pongal can be adapted to include different types of rice, such as masoori rice or foxtail millet, and different sweeteners, such as white sugar, brown sugar, or powdered jaggery.
Yes, Sakkarai Pongal can be made in an instant pot or on the stove top using a pressure cooker or a heavy-bottomed pan.
Yes, Sakkarai Pongal is often served with a generous amount of ghee, which adds richness and flavor to the dish.
Yes, Sakkarai Pongal can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.
Yes, there is a savory version of Sakkarai Pongal called Ven Pongal, which is made with raw rice, yellow moong dal, and spices, and is often served with sambar and chutney.
Yes, Sakkarai Pongal is a popular sweet dish in South India and is often served in South Indian homes and temples during special occasions and festive days.